North Holland interesting places - Edam, Volendam & Monnikendam

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Wash in the sea wind

Interesting places in North Holland

We visit in North of Holland interesting places. On our trip to the north of The Netherlands we had two goals. On the one hand we wanted to see the tulip blossom. On the other hand, we wanted to see if the clichés that were circulating about Holland were true. We went looking for cheese, wooden shoes and canals. We found what we were looking for in villages and also on our journey between Amsterdam and Gelderland. Whether the province of North Holland offers interesting places is the question that we ask ourselves on this trip.


Leisurely life - North Holland interesting places
North Holland Province interesting places - Leisurely life


Holland we had with our visit to Rotterdam visited for the first time. On the trip there we got a taste of the country. As we drove past canals and saw windmills in the distance, we got a first impression of Holland. That made us curious. That's why we decided to spend more time this year for the country and its people. This time we wanted to go in search of clues. What we discovered there, we introduce you here.


North Holland interesting places - bridge in Edam
Bridge in Edam - North Holland Province interesting places


Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam - three attractive villages in North Holland

Three attractive villages we met on our trip lie north of Amsterdam near the IJsselmeer. But you can only see this in a few places. That's because the land is up to several meters below sea level. That is why it is separated from the sea by dikes. If you want to see the sea, you have to walk along the dike.


Nevertheless, water is omnipresent in these regions. Because the Polderland is drained. Because of this we encounter canals, lakes and ponds again and again. In some places they are so wide that we can only cross them by ferry. In this area are three attractive villages in North Holland: Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam. We take a closer look at them on our journey. All three are worth seeing, but still differ from each other. And they have some surprises ready for us.


Center of Edam - North Holland interesting places
It's leisurely in the center of Edam, one of the three villages in North Holland


Edam - where cheese does not matter any more, channels for it all the more

In Edam, the only cheeses we saw were made of plastic. On the former cheese market of Edam, only cheese carriers made of metal, dolls and plastic cheese wheels bear witness to their former importance as a cheese town. The cheese dairies have moved on to nearby Alkmaar. Instead, Edam is a place of residence for people who make their living in Amsterdam. They prefer the quiet life in the countryside to the hustle and bustle of the big city. A proper place is Edamwhere many live right by one of the canals. These run through the small town, again and again spanned by wooden bridges, which could not be more picturesque.


Edam - North Holland interesting places
North Holland Province interesting places - Edam is one of them


Quiet village life in Edam - North Holland province interesting places

We're here during the week. That is why we experience a village where life is very quiet. Hardly any traffic, every now and then a housewife hauling her basket full of vegetables home from the village shop. A cat dozing on the window sill in one of the houses. The hammering from the shipyard, in which ships have been built since the days of the Dutch East Indian Trading Company. Today there are no longer any large merchant ships that are built here. But the tradition of shipbuilding continues. You see best Edam from the water.



Tranquility is the life in Edam, which we discover on a boat trip with a whisper boat through the canals of the city. Instead of cheese, we learn more about the canals that go through North Holland. Our guide tells us about the problems that life under the sea level brings with it. He also talks about the solutions that have been found. Finally, he talks about the people who make Edam a very attractive place to live. In this even art and culture play a role.


Gouda in Volendam - North Holland interesting places
Gouda is charmingly advertised in Volendam - North Holland Province of Interesting Places


Volendam - of cheese, clogs and Dutch masters

Quite different in Volendam, which is only a few kilometers away from Edam on the dike. Here we had been warned: "Things are more touristy here, and you should also look around in the labyrinth of alleys behind the dike," advises the boat rental company in Edam. "It is not so crowded there, and just as interesting." He is right. Bus tourists bustle on the dyke and flock to Volendam. You are looking for "typical Holland". This is tricked into thinking in the souvenir shops, galleries and stalls along Deichstrasse.



Taste Gouda - North Holland interesting places
North Holland interesting places - Just outside Volendam you can taste Gouda


North Holland interesting places with Gouda, clogs and Delft tiles

Gouda cheese, wooden shoes and Delft tiles are popular souvenirs, They often walk across the sales counter. Japanese tourists burst into rapture screams as they see cheeses in the shop window. German seniors seek refuge in one of the restaurants. They bring themselves to safety from a rain shower - and only a few of them buy a few drinks from the innkeeper. The rest leaves the place as soon as the first rays of sun break through the clouds. And the landlord starts to rearrange the tables and chairs. We watch the goings-on of our compatriots shake their heads and then take a walk over the dike. There we observe the boats that go out to the Markermeer or over to the island of Marken.

Cheese farm Alida Hoeve
Zeddeweg 1
1131 CW Volendam
Tel. +31 (0) 299 363 595


What for this trip in the suitcase set a link from your homepage to

  • Comfortable shoes* You should definitely have it with you because you will be walking a lot on this trip.
  • Are you planning a hike? Then you can also use ours hiking checklist check what you should pack for it.
  • An windbreaker always serves you well by the sea. There is almost always a breeze here.
  • A pair of baseball cap * I always have with me when traveling to the sea. I keep my hair in check even in strong winds.
  • A backpack you need for the utensils that you take with you during the day.
  • An Camera*, because there are many photo opportunities along the way.

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Arte Hotel Spaander in Volendam
Great tiles and paintings in the Arte Hotel Spaander in Volendam


Interesting places fit in the Art Hotel Spaander in North Holland

The Art Hotel Spaander is worth a visit for its collection of paintings, Delft tiles, nautical decor and the cozy atmosphere in its restaurant. If you come here, you should bring some time to look at the public rooms of the restaurant. Here you can lose yourself in a smorgasbord of Dutch arts and crafts. We marvel at the things that have been created in this country over the centuries. Afterwards you can thank the landlord with a glass of beer. We do this under the gaze of Dutch milkmaids or cheese boys looking down at us from the paintings on the wall.




Landal Volendam (c) Photo Landal
Landal Volendam (c) Photo Landal


In Volendam you can also rent holiday homes in a holiday park:

Holiday park Landal Volendam in Volendam

A unique holiday park with a village character on the Markermeer. Landal Volendam has 42 luxury accommodations with a high level of comfort. The architectural style is typical of the region and unmistakable for anyone who has been to Volendam. The center of Volendam and the port are within walking distance and definitely worth a visit. Let yourself be photographed in traditional costume, enjoy a roll with eel and stroll through "De Dijk".

In the center of Volendam you will find numerous restaurants. For those who want to explore the area, a boat tour to Marken is highly recommended. And after a day trip to nearby Amsterdam, the Zaanse Schans and Monnickendam, you'll find rest and relaxation at Landal Volendam. A cup of tea in your hand, your feet in the Markermeer - from the jetty you have a wonderful view of the passing ships.

  • Right on the Markermeer
  • Various accommodations for up to 6 people.
  • Bike Rental



Houses of Monnickendam
North Holland interesting places - the historic houses of Monnickendam belong to it


Monnickendam, where historic houses line the streets

The neighboring village of Monnickendam is quieter. We visit the church. This one sees how it has grown with the community and was expanded. Along the road to the town center, we see examples of Dutch facades as they were built over the centuries. The staircase or bell gables are typical. Some of them lean slightly forward. Or they have a ledge that extends over the entire façade above the windows of the ground floor. Both should prevent rainwater from dissolving the cement. Because this is made of local Muschelkalk.


Bell tower of Monnickendam
Bell tower of Monnickendam


In the bell tower of Monnickendam, one of the places of interest in North Holland

We visit the bell tower of Monnickendam, where there is a museum recently. This deals with the history of the region, its people and the carillon. It still beats the hours in Monnickendam. We learn of the three men who years ago drifted on an ice floe ice fishing on the other shore of the Markermeer. Two weeks long. All three arrived there alive. But two of them died shortly after their martyrdom.



We see the funeral ornaments that people made here from the hair of their deceased loved ones and wore them for a year in memory of them. We hear the carillon announcing the hour to the inhabitants of Monnickendam.


Take the flat barge through the Zuiderzee Museum
North Holland Interesting Places - Take a plane boat through the Zuiderzee Museum


Holland's traditions at the Zuiderzee Museum - Discover interesting places in North Holland

None of the places really corresponds to the clichés we brought with us about Holland, which is not surprising. They are all lively places that adapt to modern times and develop individually: Edam with its tranquility, Volendam with its focus on tourists and Monnickendam with its historic city center. A few kilometers further north we find the Holland as we had imagined: in the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen.


Kate in the Zuiderzee Museum
Cozy, such a Kate in the Zuiderzee Museum, right?


Here, buildings have been rebuilt from places along the Zuiderzee that show what life once looked like in the north of the Netherlands: in one of the cozy cottages we are invited to tea, in another we watch a hard-working washerwoman doing her icy cold wind washes white shirts, pants and blue and white tea towels. Her hands already show red calluses.


Wash in the sea wind
Freshly washed, the laundry dries in the sea breeze


This is how people once lived in the province of North Holland

We watch a man transport visitors across a canal in a flat barge. Behind the dike, a windmill ensures a regulated water level on the canals in the village. We watch a worker refilling charcoal in the boiler of the village laundry, where those who can afford to hand in their laundry. You will receive them freshly strengthened and ironed back. We talk to the village banker, who explains what is happening in the world of commerce, and we visit a pharmacy with a strange king's head opening his mouth. When I asked why he was doing this, the answer came promptly: "Well, open your mouth to the doctor and say Aaaah!" I would never have come up with this explanation.


Do you know why it tears his mouth like that?


We tour the school, the post office, a candy store where we get liquorice sticks and watch a cooper making barrels. On the way we meet a tradesman on his bicycle, and at the butcher's it looks as if sausage has just been delivered.

Our visit to the Zuiderzee Museum - North Holland interesting places

If you want to see what Holland life was like in the past, we recommend a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum. Here, life in the villages along the North Holland coast has been reconstructed with great attention to detail and is brought to life again in the summer months with actors who take their roles as bankers, laundresses, postal clerks or pharmacists very seriously. You should only allow enough time for a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum: we were here for hours, but would have liked to have stayed longer, there is so much to discover here.



Zuiderzee Museum
Wierdijk 12-22
1601 LA Enkhuizen

Our trip to North Holland's interesting places gave us an insight into the life of Holland then and now.

Three villages worth visiting. We also recommend these for overnight stays Hotels in the north of Holland.

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Discover other interesting places in North Holland

Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

How to get there

For example, book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. KLM and other airlines fly to Amsterdam. Alternatively, you can also take the train to Amsterdam. Do you still have more time? Then we recommend one Road trip through the Hanseatic cities in Holland.

Rental car

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *


Hotels in the north of Holland * For example, you can book here. We have these Hotels discovered.

More Slow Travel Travel Tips is also available at this link. Also discover Cities in Holland.


North Holland vacation
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Source for North Holland places of interest: research on site invited by iamsterdam However, our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TWO
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TWO


North Holland interesting places - Edam, Volendam & Monnikendam

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

4 thoughts too "North Holland interesting places - Edam, Volendam & Monnikendam"

  1. Interesting, I live in Friesland, so I've been to Holland many times already. But mostly only in Groningen or Amsterdam. But before I have to make a longer trip through Holland, there are already some nice places here. :)

    1. Hi Felix,

      These three villages are definitely worthwhile. They are all not far from Amsterdam and therefore relatively easy to reach. They also offer really interesting sights.

      Best regards,

  2. Almost home for me, because I live almost on the border and am constantly with my nice neighbors to visit. Here with you there are some great new insights! Sunny greetings,

    1. Dear Jutta,

      we live in the south of Germany. The Netherlands is (unfortunately) not just around the corner. We liked it there very much and I would be delighted if we could give you suggestions as "newcomers". Kind regards, Monika

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